Dead Tired – And It’s Only Wednesday


It’s only been a week since the kids started school… and I don’t know about them, but I’m tired. TIRED, actually, is more like it. No wonder many moms who do this make a full-time job out of it. And as for those who have full-time jobs as well, I think they have something in their genes that I just wasn’t born with.

All these days, we used to moan when the kids woke us up between 6.30 and 7.00. Now, I get to wake them up at 6.00. Is this fun for me? No! I don’t want to wake up at 6.00 either, unless it’s for tennis. And getting two sleepy kids to get out of bed, show some signs of life, and drink their milk is clearly not tennis. Not even close.

So we manage to somehow leave the house a little after 8.00 (and from next week, we’ll have to make that 7.30!). We reach their school around 8.40, which is just in time for class at 9.00. Well, it takes that much time to get their hair combed and clipped neatly (well, passably, at least), to get their shoes on, and to get them both to use the toilet. So at 9.00 I leave them to it and rush off – either home, or to waste time and run errands. Having done two hours of wasting time/driving/running errands, I’m back to pick them up at 11.00. By 12-ish we’re home, and I get them changed and get their lunch ready. By 1.30 or so, I can breathe… but not for long. I’m tired already, but I can’t stop now. This is supposed to be ‘my’ time – the time I get to get some of my own stuff done. Reading, writing, studying, or even a bit of work, if I happen to have some. So I grab my lunch and sit down in front of my computer and hardly even notice what I’m eating (which is just as well because usually it’s quite foul anyway). An hour or so later, just as I’m getting into the thick of things, one of the two bedroom doors creaks or groans open and there she is, all bright and smiling. She wants to talk, to sing, to play, to do mischief. But most of all, she wants me – whichever “she” it might be.

So I shut down the computer with half-formed thoughts in half-saved files and devote myself to the two devils and the next thing I know, it’s 8 p.m. The twins are in bed, the cook has come, cooked, and hopefully gone, and it’s time for me to eat dinner and watch some TV or read a book. Work? Violin? Exercise?

Naaaaaah… too tired, too hungry, can’t concentrate now.

Ok, I’m not entirely complaining. Parts of me want to go back to work, but mostly I’ve put that on hold for at least a year or so. Because, if I have to rush around like mad all day even without the work, how could I possibly fit that in? And some parts of what I’m doing now are – really – precious. Like, driving them to and from school and having to sing to them ALL the way – it’s tiring, it’s boring, it’s maddening, but… it’s good, too.

And like watching them for a few moments in school, when they can’t see me and they don’t know I’m there. Seeing the clips on their small heads bobbing around as they sit engrossed in some task or activity. Having them come running, smiling, to me and hug my legs when they see me. Amit hasn’t seen that yet, he hasn’t been there, so only I know what he’s missing. He’s globe-trotting, and making a great career for himself, but look what he’s missing.

There is some frustration in seeing time fly past and seeing how little I manage to achieve out of it. But, on the whole, I think the frustration of struggling to do justice to your work (and I’d want to do at least that, if not more, if I had a job) and seeing your kids’ growing-up years flashing past without being able to properly be a part of it, and probably the stress of just trying always to be in two places at the same time, physically or otherwise… I think those frustrations and the regrets that go with them would be much worse for me. I admire other moms who do this and retain their balance, but I don’t think I can be one of them right now. For me, the challenge is simpler – or at least smaller. How can I still be me? How can I keep some time and space for me? How can I avoid the other trap of being all mother and no person at all? How can I still be a person I’d find interesting to meet and talk to?

I feel like I’m already not that person any more.

Next week, their school timings will be extended to 8.30-12 noon, so that should give me a good chunk of morning hours to accomplish stuff. I also have to be more firm with myself about not doing errands ALL the TIME. I want to devote one morning a week to errands and spend the other mornings doing things that I really want to be doing. So maybe next week things will get better.

Or maybe things will never get better unless I decide to make them better.

Perhaps the first thing is not to give up wanting to be a person, not to slide into being just a mother. Sometimes, it’s so tiring that it’s easier to just let go of the other stuff.

Then again, maybe that’s the influenza speaking.

9 Responses to Dead Tired – And It’s Only Wednesday

  1. Supriya says:

    What a post! You should get ill more often. Or NOT actually. 🙂 So much I can relate to. Specially the tussle about getting into working life with all its consequences – specially being in several places at the same time, doing parts of this parts of that and never being completely satisfied with either this or that. However, I sometimes feel that a routine of going to work may be better for the likes of me – being more efficient when I am busier. With you it may be the influenza that is is affecting you. With me it is probably that I am letting things slide. It is really easier to be just a mother. Your post serves as a wake up call to me to become a person.

  2. poupee97 says:

    Supriya: Wow! A wake-up call? You mean I can do that? It just sounds like a big thing, especially for what I thought (and still think) is a very jumbled piece of writing done when I’d much rather have been asleep.

    BTW, I happen to think that you are a person…:-)… but the whole point is, it’s about what you think of yourself.

  3. Siri says:

    I am with you on this one and can relate- so well, that it is scary.

    Hope the flu is on the way out and sincerely hope the twins don’t get it.

    As for work and home and kids, I feel, and feel free to disagree, that this whole shebang about having it all and having a career and family and kids is all B.S. Maybe it shows my limitations as a person, but how in the world can a person multitask home/kids and work? I find myself neglecting one or the other.

    Neglecting A is out of the question so it is home that gets neglected and work takes forever to complete. I did not sign up for this…..

  4. Sadia says:

    If you used a racket to propel the milk towards the girls, could tennis be incorporated into the morning? 😉

    I know that things get busy. My day’s similar, although the school day is far longer, giving me far more concerted time to be non-mom. Up at 5:20: dress; wake the kids at 6:00: dress, milk, their hair; out the door at 6:30; 7:30: school drop-off; 8:00-5:00: the office; 5:30: kiddo pickup; 6:30: dinner, play, bath; 8:15: kiddos to bed; 8:30-12:00: blog, clean, cook, shower, read, try to remember who Sadia is.

    Those of us who work, commute, and parent just have lower standards. The house will be messy. I won’t get to read to the kids as much as I’d like. I can’t put in much more than 40 hours a week at work. I just prioritize. The kids’ immediate well-being is first, then my marriage, then the kids’ long-term prospects, then work, then healthy diet, then self, then friends and remaining family, then housekeeping.

    Sorry, I’m blathering. Lunch break over!

  5. poupee97 says:

    Siri: I think it’s particularly tough for you right now with A so young. It might not be BS by the time the kids are say 4, 5, or 6, more independent and spending considerable time in school (not daycare). Which is why I’ve currently only kept the job thing on hold for a year or so. But I don’t know how things will look at that stage. Like I said, maybe the moms who do work just have a totally different genetic makeup from me.

    Sadia: No, you’re not blathering. It’s an excellent point about having “lower standards” – compromises I think is the word I would have chosen. My problem is, I want to see every little bit of my kids’ childhood, plus, if I work, I want to work like I have no family. Doing less in either sphere is what causes me a high degree of frustration. There are others who live with it – that’s the difference.

    Besides, I don’t know how you manage on – 5?! – hours of sleep. I can’t function on less than 7.

  6. poupee97 says:

    Sadia: Also, if I were in your shoes, and I looked at your priorities, I’d be full up at number 2 (assuming that 40 hours of work is a given already; as is basic housekeeping so that nobody goes hungry). The rest just wouldn’t happen. How do you keep them on your list?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Wow…not only was the post interesting, the comments and follow ups were interesting too. I don’t have much to add except that I was never totally career oriented so work is always second for me. That’s why I’m ok with working from home and getting paid way less than my colleagues. But I try not to think of that too often!

    True, you have to retain the person who you used to be, who you want to be too. But Anamika, work doesn’t have to define this right? I mean, unless you’re financially not doing that well, then there are so many things that you’re already doing that make you into who you are, an interesting person with a fantastic sense of humour.

    And once the kids start staying at school longer, then there are many windows of opportunity for you.

    Probably it is the influenza speaking. 😀

  8. poupee97 says:

    Anon: No, that’s my point – it needn’t be work, I can do different things to be my own person, provided I do something. The danger is that I just end up not doing any of those things that interest me. And with that, I become less interesting myself.

    BTW, are you Andy?

  9. hey…that is me…Andy I mean,…why did that get posted as Anonymous!!???

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